NHL FREE PICKS

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NHL Picks: May 17

By Mitchell Blair

Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs begins Tuesday night with two games including a matchup between Colorado and St. Louis. It didn’t take a lot for the Avalanche to dispose of the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but it shouldn’t be as easy this time around. I thought Nashville would play a tougher game against the highly-skilled Avalanche, but for whatever reason that didn’t happen. But I’m willing to bet It will in this series as the two teams have a second-round rematch from last year in a series dominated by Colorado who recorded the sweep.

While both teams have undergone some roster changes since last year, the Blues have become a team that is tougher to play, but do they have the horses to compete with the Avalanche for seven games? If Kuemper starts (and it sounds as if he will), it should be advantage Avalanche.  It will be tougher against a deeper St. Louis team, but while providing more of a challenge, it should still be a series that Colorado wins. 

While St. Louis had problems controlling Kirill Kaprizov in round 1, they now have to try and neutralize Nathan McKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar and others. I just don’t see them being able to do so on a consistent basis. So with that being the case, I see the Avalanche taking Game 1 even though the odds for St. Louis are tempting (+187 on Sports Interaction), for the opener, I will take Colorado.

PICK:  Avalanche at -217 ML on Bet99

Other games worth betting tonight:

Tampa (+145 on Bet365) at Florida in Game 1 of their second round match-up. Goaltending will be key and I will take Vasilevskii over Bobrovsky any day of the week. I think Florida was a little fortunate to beat Washington if the truth be told. 

One of betstamp’s largest brand values is transparency. Whether you are looking to tail or fade my picks, or potentially just like reading the breakdowns, you can find my full documented betting record here. Best of luck with your bets today. 

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